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Published On: Sun, Nov 25th, 2012

Ana Gutierrez, woman riding manatee, was arrested after social media outrage

The Florida woman who was photographed riding a Manatee last month was arrested Saturday in response to the incident that went viral on social media sites early last month.

Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 53, was arrested Saturday on a warrant for Violation of the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, according to a Pinellas County Sheriff.

A series of photographs were released after Gutierrez was seen riding the manatee at the popular Fort Desoto Beach on October 2nd. The case seemingly went dormant while Pinellas County deputies forwarded the case to the State Attorney’s office who issued the warrant for Gutierrez Saturday morning.

When originally questioned about the incident, Gutierrez told authorities that she was not aware that, “it was against the law to touch or harass manatees.”

According to the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act:

“It is unlawful for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner intentionally or negligently to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any Manatee”.

Gutierrez allegedly told authorities that she was new to the area and didn’t know that it was illegal to ride a manatee.

Violation of the manatee act is a second class misdemeanor and could result in a fine up to $500 and/or 60 days in jail.

Gutierrez was arrested without incident at St. Petersburg’s Tyrone Mall, where she is currently employed at a department store.

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- Brian Attenberg, The Cavalier Expert in All Things Weird, Strange and Otherwise Odd

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